Men's Haircuts and Hairdressing

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Will it be a number 1 or number 2 (not like that like)? Men’s hairdressing involves styling and cutting a male client’s hair. Stylists will often be train specifically in men’s cuts, though some hairdressers may do unisex work.

How does it work?

The main deciding factor when it comes to men’s haircuts is whether you want to go down the scissor cut or clippers route.

Clippers are an electric styling tool used to trim hair to a uniform length. Inside the cutting area is a pair of comb-like zig-zag blades, which when powered up, move rapidly from side to side in opposite directions. A guard is usually placed in front of the blades to protect the scalp and to channel the hair between the cutting edges.

Scissors with different blade types are used by barbers and stylists to manually and precisely thin and trim hair. A scissor cut may take longer, but it allows for a greater variety of lengths and textures in the finished style.

'''Men’s haircut terminology'''

Arch – the area above and behind the ear. The arch begins at the top of the sideburn area and ends at the side of the neck towards the back of the head.

Crew cut – a type of close-cropped haircut where hair is kept comparatively long at the front and then fades to a shorter length towards the crown. Sides are also shaved short.

Crown – an area on the top of the head towards the rear. It is usually where the majority of hair growth appears to begin.

Fade (also known as taper) – a style involving a change in hair length from one part of the head to another (e.g. long at the top, shorter as it approaches the neck).

Layering – hair cut at different lengths (usually on top or towards the back of the head) to allow for messier, more textured styling.

Nape – where the hair meets the back of the neck. A blocked nape is where the hair is shaved to create a blunt end to the haircut, whereas a tapered nape involves hair being gradually cut shorter and shorter as it reaches the back hairline.

Part or parting – where slightly longer styles are divided and the hair falls in opposite directions, usually exposing the scalp.

Simple clipper cuts are also often referred to using numbers. These refer to the guard length used on the blades and therefore the subsequent hair length created.

1 – 1/8 of an inch or 3.4mm 2 – 1/4 of an inch or 6.4mm 3 – 3/8 of an inch or 9.5mm 4 – 1/2 of an inch or 12.7mm 7 – 7/8 of an inch or 22.2mm 8 – 1 inch or 25.4mm

Is it for me?

Although mens’ cuts are usually more low maintenance than women’s longer styles, all hair needs some TLC. Pollution, daily grime, the weather and heated styling tools and chemical dyes can all take their toll and leave the cuticle (the outside layer of hair cells) damaged. A trip to the barbers will not only leave your barnet looking neater, but will encourage new growth too.

Good to know

Approximately 25 percent of men begin balding by age 30 and two-thirds begin balding by age 60. Gents, get your style on while you can…


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